news Published on October 27, 2020

HHM Webinar: Buenas Prácticas en calidad de producto en tiempos de contingencia

On 12 May HHM Agrifood & Horticulture hosted a webinar along with Silver member Ridder and Gold member Control Union.

The agri- & horticulture sector is cataloged as an essential sector nearly everywhere in the world during the corona crisis (with exceptions of some sub-sectors such as the ornamental). After significant weeks under lockdown due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, some companies have already set new terms of work when it comes to solutions. The main objective of this webinar was to bring experts together and have an insightful conversation into their best practices during the contingency.

Erik Plaisier, head of the agricultural department at the Embassy of The Netherlands in Mexico, shared with us how The Netherlands is facing the situation. From initiatives from the citizens to push and support in some way the sector, research and proposals from the academic sector to keep up-to-date on how the pandemic and the impact is reflected in the country, to measures taken by the Dutch government to protect the sector, such as financing loans and alternative tax schemes.

Erik extended an open invitation to the participants to approach the agricultural department within the Embassy for any proposals to promote Dutch solutions in the Mexican agri- and horticulture sector. He highlighted the ambition to further promote the Dutch-Mexican cooperations and joined efforts between the public sector, private sector, and civil society.

Victor Rebolledo, labor-management specialist at Ridder, shared with the participants the general objectives of the Ridder solutions. He emphasized on the software developed by Ridder to maximize productivity within greenhouses and how data can be analyzed and applied to the decision-making process. He mentioned that due to the circumstances of the lockdown, employees that are considered to be a part of the more vulnerable population have been sent home for their own protection, urging the company to find alternatives to keep productivity sustainable, affordable, and profitable as demand for fresh produce is not diminishing. For more information: https://ridder.com/es

Yemil Zarzar, Certifications Manager of Control Union, shared punctually what practices have been adapted during the crisis:

  • Execute on-site audit (if country and site conditions allow it)
  • Desk Audit
  • Remote Audit
  • Certificate extension (depending on the certification scheme)
  • Postponement of initial audits

The most common certifications are offered a longer validity by extending existing certifications by 4 to 6 months,  validating only through desk audits. Yemil underlined that although this measure helps to keep companies certified, every certification is very specific and will need to be executed thoroughly. 

Yemil also suggested consulting official information regarding food safety and workers' health, sucha as this article published by the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/publications-detail/covid-19-and-food-safety-guidance-for-food-businesses) as well as the publications of official certifications. To mention some:

Primus GFS: http://primusgfs.com/news/

Global GAP: https://www.globalgap.org/uk_en/media-events/news/press/

USDA Organic: https://www.usda.gov/media

For more information, visit: www.controlunion.com

 

Please find a recodrding of the webinar here. Thank you for your participation!